Google Cloud Results
Cut annual group IT budgets by at least 30%
• Protects against ransomware with powerful filters on Gmail
• Makes migrations between cloud and servers easy with Google Workspace Drive File Stream and DriveExport
• Cuts annual IT costs by over 30% with managed services and great value storage
“We did an evaluation and selected Google Workspace to be our new communications solution. Before we could roll it out, we had a ransomware attack on our old email server. We tested Gmail filters, fast-tracked the migration, and closed the vulnerability at once.” Oliver Schüttel, CFO, Weiss + Appetito
Founded in Switzerland in 1923, the Weiss + Appetito group of companies has worked in construction services for almost a century. Now with additional operations in Germany, Austria, and France, the business employs 500 staff in six divisions.
To tie its diverse, multinational team together, Weiss + Appetito centralises management functions such as finance, marketing, and HR in its Switzerland headquarters. So when staff needed more disk space and greater mobility, the company looked for a cloud communications solution that would be easy to manage and offered great security.
“We did an evaluation and selected Google Workspace to be our new communications solution,” says Oliver Schüttel, CFO at Weiss + Appetito. “Before we could roll it out, we had a ransomware attack on our old email server. Hundreds of thousands of our files were encrypted by the virus coming over our old email server, so we tested Gmail filters, fast-tracked the migration, and closed the vulnerability at once. That was just the first step.”
More mobile and more secure
“Now we can use tablets and mobile devices to access everything from anywhere. When we’re on site, we can use Google Drive to look at construction plans and immediately upload detailed pictures for review.” Oliver Schüttel, CFO, Weiss + Appetito
Providing secure communications and file storage solutions can be a challenge for dispersed organisations. Weiss + Appetito’s previous solution struggled to balance security with increasing demands for disk space and mobility.
“The existing environment was already very complex,” explains Oliver. “We had servers for files and printers, and another solution for remote desktop sessions. It was really heavy to maintain, and very expensive as well. We asked one remote working provider for an offer for two-factor authentication. The estimate was much more than we were willing to spend on just one aspect of the secure environment we hoped to create.”
Instead, Weiss + Appetito looked to install a comprehensive communications environment that provided granular, centralised administrative tools and great security facilities, including two-factor authentication and encryption at rest.
To do that, Weiss + Appetito chose Google Workspace. Before it could be deployed, however, a ransomware attack hit the company’s servers. As part of their response, Oliver and his team took the opportunity to test the security of the tools in a real-world scenario. “We sent emails that we knew contained ransomware links or files to the new Gmail accounts, and they did not arrive,” says Oliver. “Unlike our old solution, the system simply filtered them out. That was really reassuring.” It was direct proof of the enhanced security that Oliver and his team could now apply across mobile devices as well.
“With our previous remote working solution, employees were only able to connect over a PC,” says Oliver. “Now we can use tablets and mobile devices to access everything from anywhere. When we’re on site, we can use Google Drive to look at construction plans and immediately upload detailed pictures for review. In our telecoms division, for example, we have to take hundreds of thousands of pictures covering every detail and now we can upload them straight from a mobile phone to Google Drive, so the project manager back in the office can see them immediately.”
Fully managed cloud with easy daily backups
“We are migrating our database servers to Google Cloud Platform, and already successfully migrated a scheduling application for specialised transportation onto the platform. Next will come our ERP solution, finance, and HR software as we move toward a fully serverless environment based around Google Cloud.” Oliver Schüttel, CFO, Weiss + Appetito
As an early adopter of the Google Workspace Drive File Stream, Weiss + Appetito managed the migration of all of its files from its previous servers and systems onto Google Drive, where they can be accessed from anywhere. As an additional step, every day Weiss + Appetito back up everything on Google Drive to local, on-site storage. “We just do it for ourselves, not because we feel we have to,” says Oliver. “We use Google Cloud APIs to back up everything every night onto a storage facility near Bern, Austria. It’s an additional measure we like to take, and DriveExport makes it very easy.”
“We managed the whole project with Wabion, and the collaboration has been excellent and really professional,” adds Oliver. “We just connect with each other. From our first discussions to going live, the Gmail migration took two months, thanks to Wabion meeting all deadlines and working well with people from our old provider. Now we’re beginning a series of internal Google early bird meetings, where we show our employees more of the opportunities available with Google Workspace.”
Google Sheets is at the forefront of many of those future optimisations, whether used to centralise the company’s record of the work estimates it offers to customers, so that all staff can see at any time which work is pending, or to compile budgets for the finance department. “Instead of only one person working on these spreadsheets at a time, we can work together and have more open discussions about that work,” says Oliver. “We are very much faster.” On an individual level, too, Google Sheets is set to be used alongside Google Forms to make it easier for workers to fill out timesheets.
From Google Workspace to Google Cloud Platform
By migrating to Google Workspace, Weiss + Appetito has reduced annual IT costs across the group by at least 30%. “You could even say those savings are increasing,” says Oliver. “As our disk space usage is rapidly increasing and, if we were to pay for it with our old provider, the costs would be much higher.” Reassured by the success of the project, the company is exploring Google Cloud Platform to leverage the cloud further.
“We are migrating our database servers to Google Cloud Platform, and already successfully migrated a scheduling application for specialised transportation onto the platform,” says Oliver. “Next will come our ERP solution, finance, and HR software as we move toward a fully serverless environment based around Google Cloud.”
*Google Workspace was formerly known as G Suite prior to Oct. 6, 2020.